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Ivy


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Pop, electronic pop

Status:

Most recent release, All Hours (2011)

See also:

Ivy's website

Fountains of Wayne is a related side project. Andy Chase and Dominique Durand also have a side project, Paco, with Michael Hampton and Gary Maurer.

Comparisons:

The Cranberries, The Sundays, The Cardigans

Covers/own material:

Own, some covers

General comments:

Ivy is one of those wonderful rarities—a band that makes good, catchy, but not fluffy pop music. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I have gotten fond of ivy, and truly enjoy them. I agree that some stuff may sound like The Cranberries, but they are unique enough. If I had to compare them to The Cranberries, I would be more inclined to compare them to their first commercial release. I would also be inclined to throw in a comparison to The Sundays. (Matt.Bittner)

Comments about live performance:

'Lo there, peoples! Hast thou grt music people heard of this lit'l band? I saw them at a free concert in 'frisco put on by the local modern station, Live 105. They were outstanding. A french female lead singer (who's not only a wonderful Lush-like singer, but also a hotty), with at this point, a lead guitarist and back-up vocalist, back-up guitarist, bassist, and a drummer. Kinda a mix between Lush and The Smiths or Psycho Furs. We saw them about 45 minutes later at the Wherehouse there and met them and got their Hancocks and such. It was a grt day! Their biggest hit is called "Get Enough". They have a domestically released but rare ep and the new album is called Realistic. Talk ta thous later... (c. 1995, phanes@community.net)

Recommended first album:

Apartment Life

Recordings:


Lately

Release info:

1994—Seed—95913-2

Availability:

Out of print

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Dominique Durand
Andy Chase
Adam Schlesinger

Comments:

i'm guessing this predates their album from last year, which i loved. the ep is good too: very happy-sounding-yet-melancholy, sweet and infectious guitar pop with airy vocals by dominique durand. (woj@smoe.org)

if you like their album buy the CD EP they released before it. it only has 5 songs, but it has two of their best songs on it. "i hate december", and "i'm sensitive" (not to be confused with the jewel song—this is a cover, "I Guess I'm Just a Little Too Sensitive)". good enough to give ya a cavity. (iflin@speakeasy.net)


Realistic

Release info:

1995—Seed—14253-2

Availability:

Available from website

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dominique Durand
Andy Chase
Adam Schlesinger

Guest artists:

Julius Klepacz—drums on tracks 5, 9 & 12
Kurt Ralske—slide guitar on track 12 and string-sounding-thing on track 9

Produced by:

Kurt Ralske and Ivy

Comments:

after seeing long and hard raves about ivy, i finally picked up their album and i like it lots too. just, good, hooky pop with a little sugar on top. yummy. (woj@smoe.org)

I'd put it into my top 20 of 1996. This is the real reincarnation of early '80s Cherry Red mood! Those who don't remember try out to find LPs by Dislocation Dance, early Felt, The Gist, oh...there is a bunch of them. Anyway, I'm happy such music still exists. This is type of music you discover every time you listen, depends on your mood at the time you listening. However on one or two tracks it is too noisy—may be due to alternative music pressures these days. (gzverev@RPC.glas.apc.org)

"Get Enough" is nice, catchy guitar-pop tune that makes you feel breezy and happy. tho some would say that they are your typical light guitar pop, I enjoyed them. The lead singer is a Frenchwoman, who is kinda shy. She sings much like the ethereal Lush-like style that is growing in popularity these days. "Everyday" is me favorite tune on the album, it has a nice kinda-psychedelic intro and post-chorus lick that appeals to me senses. Other good songs are "Decay", "Beautiful", and "Shallow." (phanes@community.net)


Apartment Life

Release info:

1997—Atlantic—83042-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dominique Durand
Andy Chase
Adam Schlesinger

Guest artists:

Chris Botti—trumpet (3, 6)
Jacqui Carrasco—violin (6)
Chris Collingwood—guitar (5)
Mike Davis—trombone (3)
Stanley Demeski—drums (6, 8, 9)
Ralph Farris—violin (6)
James Iha—guitar (11), vocals (12)
Jody Porter—guitar (3, 12)
Alan P. Rubin—trumpet (3)
Dean Wareham—guitar (4)

Produced by:

Ivy

Comments:

Proof that Fountains of Wayne is but a side project. Some of the smartest, most emotionally complex pop music in ages. The sunny surface is deceptive; Dominique Durand's singing and lyrics provide an intellectual and emotional depth that is missing from Fountain of Wayne's output (or "That Thing You Do," for that matter). That's why I found it so compelling and included Apartment Life on my best of '97 list. I don't know if these qualities would make themselves fully heard at a listening station. I simply want to point out that listening stations have their limits, and sometimes you really have to live with an album for a while to appreciate what a recording artist is up to. This was, incidentally, one of the albums I bought last year without listening beforehand. (beckwith@ime.net)

I listened to this last night at the Tower listening station (I was also prompted to investigate it by someone's post here), and I liked it OK, but ultimately I couldn't get into it because there was something kind of lightweight about the music. The playing and arrangements were great, but the chord progressions were just too major-7th-ish and lite'n'lively for my taste. The guitar playing seemed to promise a powerful release, and I kept waiting for them to pull out the stops with something dark and driving, but the music stayed restrained and never stopped skimming the emotional surface.
     Then again, I didn't like Fountains of Wayne all that much, either. And I really expected to—I grew up in the '60s and loved all those British Invasion bands. And "That Thing You Do" is a lot of fun (I even bought the soundtrack), so I was disappointed that I didn't like Fountains of Wayne more. Too much ear candy, maybe? (jwermont@sonic.net)

I love this!! I bought based on a comparison to Stereolab whom I desire more and more. To find Adam Schlesinger as one of the main members was equally impressive. I adore his pop sensibility with Fountains of Wayne. Lucky lucky me.
     I find Ivy and Fountains of Wayne to be darling ear candy. Maybe I yearn for some of the '60s pop that you grew up on. Only from newer bands. I find them to be deeper but only on more and more listens. Not the deepest bands ever, but nice for one of those times when I need a little cheering up. (Horter3)

One of my favorite albums ever, Apartment Life is full of catchy songs and great hooks. Never fails to cheer me up and get me dancing. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Frothy, airy pop with a french singer. (nnadel@hotmail.com)


Long Distance

Release info:

2001—Nettwerk America—0 6700 30218 2 1

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dominique Durand
Andy Chase
Adam Schlesinger

Guest artists:

Eric Matthews—trumpet (1, 6, 8, 10)
Jon Skibic—guitar (9)
James Iha—guitar (9)
Brian Young—drums (4, 5)
Valerie Vigoda—violin (9)
Michael Hampton, Jeremy Freeman—additional loops and sounds

Produced by:

Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger, additional production on tracks 2 and 9 by Peter Nashel

Comments:

This is a good album, but I don't like it as much as Apartment Life. Overall, it's a bit uneven. The first three tracks are really good, especially "Edge of the Ocean" and also the last two songs, "One More Last Kiss," and "Digging Your Scene," which also appears on Guestroom. But the middle kind of blurs together. On some tracks I think the production feels overdone and their use of electronica feels unnecessary. Maybe the songs feel a little too long. Only 2 tracks on Apartment Life are over 4 minutes long, whereas only 2 tracks on Long Distance are under 4 minutes. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Guestroom

Release info:

2002—Minty Fresh, PO Box 577400, Chicago, IL 60657, US—mf-45

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dominique Durand
Andy Chase
Adam Schlesinger

Guest artists:

Gary Maurer—mandolins (2)
Marty Beller—drums (2, 3)

Produced by:

Andy Chase & Adam Schlesinger, Ivy, Gary Maurer

Comments:

I never thought a covers album could be one of my favorite new releases of any given year, but Ivy's Guestroom is wonderful. A far better blend of pop and electronica than Long Distance. Half the songs come from previous, mostly rare now, recordings, and half are new. All are great. I even like the cover of the Ronette's "Be My Baby", slow and dreamy, and almost other-worldly, which is the only song I can compare to the original. (JoAnn Whetsell)

In the Clear

Release info:

2005—Nettwerk—0 6700 30398 2 6

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Dominique Durand
Adam Schlesinger
Andy Chase

Guest artists:

Jeremy Adelman—trumpet (3)
Monica Davis—violin (2)
James Iha—guitar (4, 7)
Sarah Kishinevsky—violin (2)
Zé Luis—string arrangement and conducting (2)
Scott McLoud—vocal (10)
Steve Osborne—keyboard (3, 10), guitar (10)
Jody Porter—guitar (4, 5, 9, 10)
Laura Usiskin—cello (2)
Emily Yaffe—viola (2)

Produced by:

Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger; additional production by Steve Osborne on tracks 1 and 5

Comments:

Ivy's first album of original material in four years sounds both like classic Ivy and different. They've lost the electronica of Long Distance, and while some of the songs sound like they would fit on Apartment Life mostly it doesn't sound like that album either. The first track (my favorite) is a dreamy song, sort of like a more upbeat and poppy Mazzy Star, but the rest of the album follows a different course. Which is fine, since it's all good guitar pop. (JoAnn Whetsell)

All Hours

Release info:

2011

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

Another solid pop album from Ivy. It's nice to have them back, but this isn't going to supplant their earlier albums for me. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Ivy has contributed songs to the soundtracks for Felicity, There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself, and Irene, and Carrie 2: Rage. Their songs appear on several compilations including Pop Romantique, Open All Night: In the Shadows, and For the Kids (non-album track).

Email: thebandivy@aol.com.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2012-04-01 21:33:02.
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